Yanira Maldonado, is a mother of seven, who was jailed on a recent trip to Mexico on drug smuggling charges. The 42-year-old was freed from a Mexican jail last night after a surveillance video cleared her of transporting marijuana on the bus.
Maldonado, a resident of Goodyear, Arizona left the jail located in the outskirts of Nogales and was greeted by her husband, Gary, after spending a week in the jail. She was arrested by the Mexican military after 12 pounds of marijuana were discovered under her seat on the commercial bus which was traveling from Mexico back to their home in Arizona.
"She lived through a nightmare," said her attorney, Jose Francisco Benitez Paz. Maldonado's release came within hours after court officials reviewed security footage that showed her and her husband boarding a bus in Mexico with only blankets, 2 bottles of water and her purse in hand.
The couple was traveling home to the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear after attending her aunt's funeral in the city of Los Mochis when they were arrested.
Fortunately, the judge used the video footage to determine that she would not have been able to smuggle the large amount of drugs on the bus, and all allegations against her were dropped, according to Benitez Paz.
Maldonado spoke of her affair when she was safely back in Arizona, after taking a car across the border with her husband following her release. "I'm home! Finally!" she screamed as they crossed the border back into Arizona.
Maldonado expressed her anger to Arizona's 12 News, saying, "I'm not coming back to Mexico. It's a slap in the face Mexico has given me after I've defended them when I hear people talk bad about them."
In an odd turn of events, Gary was originally arrested after the drugs were discovered under his wife's seat, although when she asked to come along as a translator for her husband who does not speak Spanish, the military officials decided to release him and arrest her instead.
Maldonado is a U.S. citizen who was born in Mexico, her family said. She and Gary Maldonado were married one year ago, and they celebrated their anniversary while she was jailed.